There is nothing better looking than a hammered copper sink in a newly renovated kitchen. Stainless steel sinks tend to look industrial and often have issues with water spots. Ceramic sinks have a tendency to get chipped from dropped pots and pans and end up looking dated when the interior design styles change.
If you decide to install a hammered copper sink in your kitchen, follow each of these tips to properly care and maintain it so it stays looking as amazing as the day it was installed.
Tip: Understand Copper Sinks Have Living Finishes
All copper metal forms a protective layer of tarnish when it is exposed to oxygen. The tarnish layer is called patina and is considered to be a living finish because it continually forms on exposed copper.
When copper tarnishes, first, the shiny surface turns brown, and then eventually, it will turn the verdigris green color most people associate with copper.
You should expect the tarnish layer to scratch, and it won't hurt the sink when it does. Scratches will fill themselves in with new tarnish over time.
Tip: Proactively Avoid Damaging the Living Finish on Your Sink with Proper Cleaning
It is important you take proactive steps to avoid damaging the protective tarnish on a copper sink, which includes avoiding the use of:
- abrasive cleaners
- acid-based cleaners
- ammonia-based cleaners
- bleach-based cleaners
- drain cleaners
- rust removers
- steel wool
After using the sink, simply wash it out using a soft cloth or sponge soaked in a warm soap-water solution. When the sink is clean, then wipe it dry to prevent hard water spots.
Tip: Keep Acidic Foods from Damaging the Sink's Patina
Just as acid-based cleaning products will damage a copper sink's patina, so too will acidic foods and drinks if they sit on its surface too long. To avoid this damage, don't stack dirty dishes in the bottom of the sink or wash your morning orange juice down the sink without washing it down the drain.
Tip: Apply a Sealant if You Want to Stop the Patina from Darkening
Finally, if you like the look of your copper sink as it just starts to tarnish and hasn't yet had the chance to form a darker brown or green patina, then you can seal it to stop the tarnishing process. Specialty sealants for copper can be purchased where you buy your new hammered copper sink and are easy to apply.